ENGL 587 -- Autumn Quarter 2005

Topics in Teaching Creative Writing (3 credits) Sonenberg M 12:30-2:20

This course will explore some of the issues that guide the teaching of creative writing. As there is little theory about this special branch of teaching writing, the course will explore the different ways this field has been written about: the manifesto, the anecdote, the how-to. Reading will include articles that relate the teaching and learning of creative writing to current ideas in literary theory and creativity research, as well as articles “from the trenches”—articles by writers in the midst of teaching. In the process, each student in the class will develop a teaching philosophy and a pedagogy that reflects that teaching philosophy. Discussions and readings will cover topics such as choosing texts and exercises for creative writing classes, the traditional workshop and its alternatives, and responding to and grading students’ creative work. Written work will include a list of learning outcomes for an introductory creative writing class; a grading system; an annotated bibliography of anthologies, text books, or how-to books; a group of exercises focusing on a particular issue of technique; and an annotated list of readings to serve as examples for ways of handling a particular technique. By the end of the quarter, each student will have a refined syllabus that reflects his or her thinking on all these issues and will write a brief paper relating the syllabus to his or her teaching philosophy.

This course is required of MFA students teaching either 283 or 284 at any point during the 2005-2006 academic year. It is also open to other MFA students, priority give to second year students. Students entering the MFA program should contact the Director of Creative Writing about the advisability of taking the course. Other interested graduate students admitted at the instructor’s discretion.

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